Internet Marketing Interview with Clayton Wehner

"Internet Marketing is trying attract as much qualified traffic to a web presence as possible." -Clayton Wehner, Director of Blue Train Enterprises

I caught up with Clayton Wehner, Director of Bluetrain Enterprises, in January to discuss Internet Marketing principles, tips and advice. (Clayton's answers are in italics).

What is an internet marketing plan, what are the key parts and how should it be used?

It's useful to have some form of plan written down that covers off the different marketing activities that you will be undertaking and the metrics that you will be measuring. Your internet marketing plan needs to plug into your organisation's overall marketing plan and any money spent on internet marketing needs to be synchronised with the company's offline marketing efforts. The plan needs to be explicit about where money is being spent e.g. email campaigns, competitions etc. and how these initiatives are measured (eg. number of new email subscribers, increase in Facebook Fans, etc)

How important is it to have a website optimised for mobile/smart phones? Is it important for all businesses?

Increasingly important, especially for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) businesses that deliver advice or information to their customers. In th first instance, I think it is more important to have a website that can be viewed easily via the web browser on mobile devices. This is more important, and cost effective, than developing mobile apps for all the different operating systems out there.

What are 5 simple things anybody can do to improve the internet marketing of their small business?
  1. Independent (or third party) review of your web presence - an ongoing process; keep asking yourself how your web presence can be improved
  2. Write great content- blog or articles
  3. Try search engine marketing - get a free Google voucher and trial a campaign- it's cost effective and trackable
  4. Contact like-minded businesses, suppliers and associations that you are a member of and ask for a link to your website
  5. Publish your website URL everywhere such as your brochures, business cards and other promotional material

In your experience which aspects of internet marketing get the best ROI?
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) by far- You can teach yourself, so it's cost effective and the returns can be fantastic; the only cost is your time to produce content and obtain inbound links. As an example, our online bookstore Boomerang Books attracts over 6,000 unique visitors per day due to solely to SEO efforts.
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) comes in second- it's trackable and directs motivated buyers to your website, albeit at a cost.

How should flash be used in website design?

Sparingly. It's a good technology in small doses. It provides some pizazz to impress your visitors at first glance, but shouldn't be used throughout the website. Importantly, navigation elements or text should not embedded in Flash as many search engines have difficulty indexing such pages.

What do you think of Facebook and Twitter?

Twitter - simplicity is its charm, but I'm not convinced that it is here to stay. I'd say that it's likely to be bought out by Google, Facebook or Microsoft and I have no idea how it would be incorporated in to the wider offering of one of those behemoths.
Facebook - has widespread appeal and has more substance than Twitter.

There are many more detractors for Twitter than for Facebook. Whilst we use Twitter in our business, I do find lot of the information posted on Twitter banal. That said, Twitter works well for a lot of businesses and, if it fits your business objectives, then it's worth using - particularly as it doesn't cost anything to use.

Do you have any tips for outsourcing your Internet Marketing?

Beware of outsourcing because there are a lot of people who claim to have expertise in this field - proceed with care. I recommend that you have a face-to-face relationship with the person who is undertaking internet marketing activities on your behalf. I'd also suggest that you should learn as much as possible yourself about internet marketing, so that you don't have the wool pulled over your eyes.

Which internet marketing publications/ newsletters/ other sources do you subscribe to and/or recommend?

Clayton Wehner is the Director and Project Manager at Bluetrain Enterprises. He is also Managing Director and Co-Owner of Boomerang Books- Australia's Online Bookstore.

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